After Further Review: Kirk's win clouds Ryder Cup picture


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Chris Kirk's chances of making the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Paul McGinley's tough decision, the PGA Tour's unpredictable season and Monday's dramatic finish at TPC Boston.

The Deutsche Bank Championship was supposed to clear up an increasingly cloudy U.S. Ryder Cup picture. Instead, in the wake of Chris Kirk’s surprising victory, it’s as unclear as it’s ever been.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that no one knows for sure what Tom Watson is looking for. In interviews he’s said that he wants players with “heart,” but he couldn’t say exactly how that could be identified. One thing is clear: About eight players could make a case for one of the three wild-card berths. Who actually gets the nod is anyone’s guess. – Ryan Lavner

Chris Kirk's victory on Sunday was symbolic in that it embodied everything we've come to learn about the PGA Tour this season.

Except for a month-long span when the world's best player looked like it, this year has been a parade of unsung, unheralded, yet not undeserving players coming through in final rounds.

Gone are the days when experience matters and the cream rises. The unpredictable is now predictable, as we've grown accustomed to watching the underdogs fail to fade away.

It was only fitting that Kirk tore up TPC Boston alongside the world's best player over the final two days. That's been the prevailing narrative throughout this entire season. – Jason Sobel

Although the focus will be on U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson on Tuesday, the real pressure will be on his European counterpart Paul McGinley.

Watson, who seems likely to pick Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan with his first two picks, will have a difficult choice to make after Chris Kirk won the Deutsche Bank Championship and Bill Haas and Webb Simpson both finished inside the top 10.

McGinley is faced with leaving an established veteran off the European team. Stephen Gallacher’s run at the Italian Open makes him a likely choice, and Ian Poulter would appear to have a lifetime exemption into the matches, which leaves McGinley to choose between Lee Westwood and Luke Donald for his final pick.

Considering that duo’s Ryder Cup record, Monday promises to be a sleepless night for the European captain. – Rex Hoggard

There’s nothing like a final shot to the 72nd hole with a big trophy on the line.

You add a chance at the FedEx Cup jackpot on top of it, and Ryder Cup implications on top of that, and you have a recipe for high drama.

That’s what we were treated to Monday watching Chris Kirk make his way home winning the Deutsche Bank Championship. I’ve never liked the term “playoffs” to describe the FedEx Cup, and while I wish they could decide this without using points, you could feel how important this postseason invention continues to be with Billy Horschel errantly launching his final approach into the brush in Monday’s finish.

You could feel your palms sweating with Horschel’s as he tried to catch Kirk. When you’re creating that for your fans, you’ve got something special, no matter what you call it. – Randall Mell